ran for their lives. survivors remember the heat, the noise, and the shaking as flames shot hundreds of feet into the air. >> open up the door and see that flame, that's the scary part about it, you know. >> reporter: one resident, walter mccaffrey, shot this cellphone video from his balcony after warning his wife and children not to come home. today his balcony overlooks what's being called the zone of devastation. it's one of the last houses standing on the edge of a ruined neighborhood. the explosion ripped a 28-foot-long section of gas pipeline out of the earth. a 30-inch high pressure transmission line that ran right under the neighborhood. did you have any idea that pipe went so close to your house? >> no, i did not, know. >> reporter: pacific gas&electric, the utility that operates the pipeline has almost 6,500 miles of major transportation pipelines in california. the utility has been ordered by state regulators to inspect all of its gas pipelines in the state, making those in heavily populated areas a priority.